When people talk about the Good Old Days, they inevitably include the music from the 1960s. Back then, wholesome songs about cars, crushes, and being American were popular. Not like the gutter rubbish of today, where music is all about sex and crime.
But out of all the amazing music that came from the 1960s, one group that has almost been totally forgotten, and most certainly overlooked, is The Continentals. These five young men who came from Westchester County, New York, won a talent show and were then invited onto the Ted Mack Show to perform their biggest hit “Thunderbird.”
This performance is sure to bring with it a wave of nostalgia for anyone who misses the Good Old Days. But keep your eye on the lead singer because in the middle of the performance he breaks out some groovy dance moves…
As the viral clip begins, Ted Mack lists the young group’s numerous accomplishments. The five young men won a talent contest held under the Offices of Westchester County Recreation Commission. But as you’ll soon discover upon watching the television performance, the Continentals were a force to be reckoned with. Plus, they’re the epitome of the music from the Good Old Days.
To get started, the guitarist in the middle shouts, “What’s the word?”
“Thunderbird,” the lead singer responds with a goofy dip.
The young man in the front of the group then steps side to side in a groovy two-step that lets the audience know they should move to the music.
“I’m gonna ride, yeah, in my Thunderbird / all through the town, pick up all the girls.”
Watch as the young singer twists around as the guitarist takes his cue to begin his guitar solo.
The signer then dances right in front of the grooving drummer. His wild moves elicit a burst of applause from the admiring audience.
Not only is The Continental’s singer and guitarist spot-on, so is their drummer. The young man behind the skins erupts into an awesome drum solo. You don’t hear enough of those nowadays in today’s popular music – that’s a fact.
While hundreds of thousands have tune in to watch this video on YouTube, many have replied with their comments including:
“These guys are Very good! The lead singer has a very good voice and he can dance!”
“Before “The Voice” and “America’s Got Talent” and “Idol” etc there was “Ted Mack’s Original Amature Hour””
“They were as good as any group back then. I’m surprised they did not have more success.”
According to the video description, this talent show “is a progenitor of later, similar programs such as Star Search, American Idol and America’s Got Talent. The television debut came on January 18, 1948 on the DuMont Television Network with Mack as the host…. The series was broadcast weekly, on early Sunday evenings, on DuMont until September 25, 1949, then moved to NBC Television in October 1949 where it remained until September 1952. NBC then hosted it from April 1953 to September 1954… Even then the show wasn’t finished—it ran for another decade as a late-Sunday-afternoon feature on CBS, beginning on October 2, 1960.
“Many long-running CBS shows were cancelled in 1970-71 because they attracted viewers of an advanced age. However, Ted Mack beat CBS to the punch and terminated the Original Amateur Hour of his own volition. The final show was broadcast on September 27, 1970.
What do you think of The Continental’s performance of “Thunderbird”?
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